Sunday, February 26, 2006

A clean, fit mayor or a sweaty, and smelly mayor, or a fat, dead mayor?

Roberta deBoer calls Carty the "Fitness Mayor."

She's right with:

"As Chief of Staff Bob Reinbolt noted, exercise equipment that's going into a new work-out room was donated by an employee"

"Can't you just see the e-mail that must have circulated to city hall in-boxes?"

"'Looking to get rid of that unused treadmill or Nordictrack? Did your Suzanne Sommers Thigh-Master not work out so well? DO WE HAVE THE SOLUTION FOR YOU - AND IT'S TAX DEDUCTIBLE!!!'"

"Sorry, but I think a shower is a reasonable perk for a mayor, especially one who's a slave to long work hours and daily exercise."

Right on, Roberta!

I hope that Carty will exercise and maintain his health. If it costs 10 grand to give him a showever, then so be it.

After Carty has had his next 2 terms, then we'll need him again in 2014. So, if you want Carty to bail our pathetic butts out of trouble when he's gets to middle age in 2014, then let's all play nice with him, OK?

Oh, and if Carty decides that he doesn't like the architecture or engineering of a project, then ya'll better listen. It's not often that you get a mayor brought up with one of the foremost architectural and engineering firms in the country. Can anyone name the firm?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Zoo Board Reports Progress Meeting Task Force's Recommendations

From WTOL News:

TOLEDO -- The board of directors at the Toledo Zoo say positive changes continue to be made -- with improvements affecting everything from animal care to personnel.
Board members told the Lucas County commissioners Friday that, of 115 recommendations made by a citizens task force, 67% have been implemented. The rest are in the process of being completed.
Marty Skeldon, Toledo Zoo Citizens Task Force, told News 11, "I believe they're working as hard as they possibly can to get these recommendations implemented, and to have a better culture at the Toledo Zoo. When you have a change of culture in any organization, it takes time."
The task force was formed after the Zoo's chief vet was fired and executive director resigned.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Local Firm ranks second on Fortune Magazine Most Admired List

While the news about Dana stock is not good, and the jobs growth figures dispariging, I would like to report that one area company is prospering and has earned a 2nd place finish in their industry for the Most Admired Companies by Fortune Magazine.

HCR Manorcare continues to be a leader of health care in the nation. According to their Corporate Profile on their website "Manor Care, Inc., through its operating group HCR Manor Care, is the leading owner and operator of long-term care centers in the United States. Our nearly 60,000 employees have made us the preeminent care provider in the industry."

This news along with other recent announcements:

I think the future of the Toledo Business Market looks bright and hopefully will be able to create more jobs for our residents in the not to distant future.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Calculating You Gasoline Bill...Is it far off?

As most everyone else, I was shocked and awed when I opened my January Columbia Gas bill and discovered that it was over $100 more then what my December bill was. How could this be I asked myself? January was unseasonably warm, I only lived at home for half the month, and I had my furnace turned way down to the point where I was wearing my jacket inside. Then I seen "the" word....CALCULATED. I immediately ran down to my basement to compare my meter reading to that listed on my bill. Whoa....Something not right here. After discussions with CG, It was explained to me that the calculations were based on what was reasonably expected use for the time of year and past usage from the previous time period last year. Well I got the adjustments to my bill after a long struggle but it got me to thinking, What if the Gas Stations used this same method of calculation for the amount of gas you used in your car?

(just a story)
Driving down the road while trying to avoid the potholes which would surely send me straight to Hell if ever I was unfortunate enough to fall into one, I heard that sound that makes me cringe every time. The "DING" of my low fuel alarm.

As I retrieved my wallet I noticed that it was looking a little slim. (No wonder it felt more comfortable in my back pocket.) I had just paid my Columbia Gas bill and found that I only had a single $20.00 bill left in it. While not enough to fill my tank I knew that $20.00 would give me almost 10 gallons of gas. That surely would be enough to make it back and forth to work through the rest of the week till payday.

Confidently I pulled up to the pump, removed the nozzle and attempted to dispense $20.00 worth of gasoline into my tank. Then another one of those annoying noises rang through my brain. "Pump #3, You have to pay first before pumping" coming through the loud speaker sounding like the WHA...WHA...WHA...WHA ...WHA from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.

Begrudgingly I treaded my way inside hoping to slip the clerk a $20.00 bill and be on my way.
"I'll take 20 on #3" I told her.
"Ok sir, that will be $30.00" she replied
Thinking she misunderstood me, I gave her the $20 bill and reaffirmed that I only wanted $20.00 worth of gasoline.
"ok sir, I understand but you still owe me $10.00 more dollars" as she pointed to a sign posted next to the register.
There in bold red letters I read...

Effective immediately all gas purchases will be Calculated. We feel that if the Public Utilities can make windfall profits on this method of payment, why shouldn't we!

Needles to say I was furious. I asked the clerk how they were able to calculate my gasoline bill when I could simply read her the pump total for what I actually owed. Looking like an IRS audit agent with her pen stuffed behind her ear, she took out her calculator and started punching numbers feverishly.

"A 2000 model SUV with a v-8 motor averaging 13 mpg...
x 28 days of February weather when there is snow in the forecast...
x the number of days my vehicle may be engaged in 4 wheel drive...
x 62 Jack-rabbit-starts due to the aggressive nature of the American Male...
plus a fuel surcharge for the paper towels I used to clean my windows...

Equals $40.00" she said. "But your in luck today because we are offering an instant $10.00 rebate. That brings your calculated bill down to only $30.00" she said with a smile that was more like a "what a sucker" grin then a display of courtesy.
"Not to worry" she explained. "We will notate your actual mileage and compare it to your mileage when you stop back in sometime in March" If our calculations are wrong we will gladly issue a credit towards your next fuel purchase"

Being that I was already late, had no time to argue, and a car that was running on fumes, I handed her my credit card which she charged $30.00 against and set the pump to dispense exactly $20.00 worth of gasoline.

Damn, I thought to myself as I made my way out of the station. I wonder if I could charge my employer "Calculated" wages for the upcoming week based upon the amount of work that I think I will do. Nah...He would re-calculate and determine that the work I performed was only worth 75% of my current salary, but not to worry...If I put in OT they would give me a wage credit on my next paycheck. Swerving to miss one of those potholes I wonder if the City miscalculated on the number of potholes the average winter causes on our local streets.

BREAKING NEWS! Toledo-Area Men Arrested In Alleged Terrorist Plot

A federal grand jury has indicted three Toledo-area men on terrorism charges, alleging that they plotted to kill US military personnel in Iraq and other countries. Please visit Historymike's Musing and Toledo Talk for more info.

historymike's musings: Toledo-Area Men Arrested In Alleged Terrorist Plot
Toledo Talk -Toledo-Area Men Arrested for Terrorist Activity

Saturday, February 18, 2006

In support of Toledo Zoo Levies

The Toledo Zoological Society has been given the OK by the Lucas County commissioners to put 2 tax levies on the May ballot. While some may question the need for these levies or if the Zoo has earned the respect and support of Lucas County Taxpayers (see earlier posting) to warrant such levies, I feel that not to endorse these levies would be a mistake by the citizens of this community.

The cost of the new levies will reportily cost the owner of a $100,000.00 home an average of $56.65 a year. For those who may claim that they already pay too much in taxes or cannot afford to pay anymore, here is some perspective:

  • A pack of cigarettes a day = $1460.00 per year @$4.00 a pack
    14 less packs a year will pay for the levy
  • One MickyD Value Meal a week = $234.00 per year @ $4.50 ea.
    13 less Value Meals a year will pay for the levy
  • A six-pack of Budweiser a week = $208.00 per year @ $4.00 a pack
    14 less 6-packs a year will pay for the levy
While I realize that there is a segment of the population who would be burden by any additional taxes, you can see by my examples that it doesn't take much of a sacrifice to offset the cost increase in these levies.

According to an Economic Impact Study conducted by the Center for Policy Analysis and Public Service at Bowling Green State University released in 2004, indicated that
"the Toledo Zoo makes a nearly $70 million annual economic impact on the local economy and for each $1.00 the Zoo receives in tax levy funds, it generates $7.90 in local economic activity. This economic impact benefits local small businesses and corporations by way of increased revenues and benefits the citizens of Northwest Ohio by creating annually 1,385 fulltime-equivalent jobs."

I find it curious that a community (for the most part) who supports giving tax abatements to the tune of 2.5 million dollars to lure Costco into Westgate because of the possibility (no guarantees) of 180 or so good paying jobs, would snub their nose at a relatively small tax increase to support the Zoo. It would be a shame if these levies did not pass because of notions instilled in the taxpayers by bias media reporting and anti-zoo organizations who have a "grudge" to settle. It is time, we as a community, put all the petty bickering and self righteousness behind us and forge ahead in our continued support of this fine institution and restore it to the glamour for which it became known for.

The Zoo has made great strides to fixing the ills that befell them last spring. They have listen to the Task Force and implemented 115 of 123 recommended changes. They have removed or forced into retirement the parties involved with all the controversies. They have hired a new director in Anne Baker who has an optimistic vision of where and how the Zoo should proceed into the future, and judging by her resume the skills and education to get it there.

Image hosting by Photobucket

For a return on investment which results in job creation outside the zoo and job security for current Zoo staff, an economics boost for the community, expansion and maintenance of one of our few local treasures, environmental and wildlife education, and recognition as one of the top 10 Zoological Parks in the nation, I believe $50.00 +/- dollars a year is a small price to pay.

(less I forget....brrreeeport)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Brrreeeport.....Pickles in Politics

Posts that contain Brrreeeport per day for the last 30 days.
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Get your own chart!

This is my little contribution to the Brrreeeport experiment.

I saw this report listed in my company's newsletter and it suddenly occurred to me ...
Recently our local politicians seem to be getting themselves in quite a few pickles! This may not be their fault and just a consequence of eating pickles. Maybe the city should enact a Public Pickle Ban in conjunction with the Smoking Ban. Although eating pickles for politician was not included in the study listed below, I would bet that they all have eaten pickles shortly before their woes began.

Look at the Pickle that the pickle people have put you in!
Pickles will kill you. Every pickle you eat brings you nearer to death. Amazingly, the thinking man has failed to grasp the significance of the term "in a pickle". Although leading horticulturists have long said that Cucamis Sativus possesses Indehiscent Pepto, the pickle industry continues to expand.
Pickles are associated with all the major diseases of the body. Eating them breeds wars and Communism. They can be related to most airline tragedies. Auto accidents are caused by pickles. There exists a positive relationship between crime waves and consumption of this fruit of the curcubit family. For example:

Nearly all sick people have eaten pickles; therefore, the effects are obviously cumulative.

  • Of all the people who die from cancer, 99% have eaten pickles.
  • 100% of all soldiers have eaten pickles; therefore, pickles must be related to wars.
  • 98.8% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten pickles.
  • 99.7% of all the people involved in the air and auto accidents ate pickles within 14 days preceding the tragedy.
  • 93.1% of all juvenile delinquents come from homes where pickles are served frequently.

Evidence points to some startling long term effects of pickle eating:
Of all the people born in 1865 who later dined on pickles, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
All pickle eaters born between 1890 and 1900 have wrinkled skin, brittle bones, have lost most of their teeth and are afflicted by failing eyesight... If the ills that come from eating pickles have not already resulted in their death.
Even more convincing is the report from a noted team of medical specialists. They found that rats which were force-fed with 20 pounds of pickles per day developed bulging abdomens. It was further noted that the rat's appetites for wholesome food was completely destroyed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Very nice and well written article on TheToledo Zoo that you posted


Monday, February 13, 2006

Have you ever noticed....

Everyone of us living in the City of Toledo has at some point seen something that made you scratch your head in bewilderment. I know I have. To that end I have decided to share a few of my observations of strange or baffling occurrences which caused me to pause and say...."HUH".

Have you ever noticed that right after a road has been freshly repaved that the DPU is out within days to tear parts back up to repair water lines. You would think that these water line repairs could be made before or during the actual road repairs. Then, after the DPU finishes, they leave hugh speed-bumps of cold patch to fill in the hole they dug. Maybe they are getting kickbacks from the auto-repair shops from endless front wheel alignments.

Why is it that the previous Carty Finkbeinber administration seen to it that all of the city's fire hydrants were painted green? Maybe it was so that they were more visible on snowy days. It didn't do much when they blended with the green of summer making it harder for the fire dept. to locate quickly. Now they are once again all rusted, chipped and ugly looking. I wonder if the new Carty administration has a few (hundred) gallons of left over green paint to redo them. Maybe we can get Mike Ferner to paint them as part of his community service, and while he is at it, give him a can of spray paint. He can graffiti the house numbers to the curb on his walks in between hydrants. As long as it's green.

Why are the restaurants on the east side called "The Docks" ? All I can see is that they have a breaker wall that boats tie up to. No Docks. Maybe we should just call them "The Wall" or the "Breakers", but not the docks. Save that for the west side of the river at Promenade Park where all the docks really are during the summer time.

Does Carty Finkbeiner really need a new car as mayor? Did Jack Ford destroy the Liberty he was driving while mayor? Or is it that Carty cannot bear the thought of driving the same vehicle as the "A" team? Seems like a waste when I see numerous city vehicles sitting idle for days on end in the downtown parking garage where I park everyday for work. Can't we save a few taxpayers dollars and let Carty drive one of those vehicles?

Why is 5/3 bank called Fifth-Third? Does not 5/3 = 1 2/3 0r 1.666? Maybe it should be called 1 2/3 Bank or 1.666 Bank. Of course that doesn't have the ring that 5/3 Field has. It's a lovely night at the ball park here at 1 2/3 Field.

Why does TARTA insist on driving these hugh gas guzzling busses with only a half a dozen patrons on board then complain about the cost of fuel to run these monsters? Wouldn't a mini-van be a better choice for the routes where they haven't enough riders to fill the empty seats. Maybe it's a status thing.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Toledo...Just the facts

Here is a reprint of Toledo's History from Toledo Explorer I found when researching the history of our city. I found it an interesting read and hope you do too.

In 1833, Port Lawence and Vistula decided to unite in order to take advantage of a canal that would bypass the Maumee rapids. When they did this, Toledo was born. The land that is now known as Toledo, was actually once known as the Black Swamp.

Toledo is the County Seat, or capital of Lucas County, meaning that countywide government and political events are conducted here. It also lies on the Western end of Lake Erie and the Northern border between Ohio and Michigan.

Between 1835 and 1836, Michigan and Ohio fought over ownership of Toledo. Although both sides sent militias to fight, they never engaged in a true battle. There was, however, one casualty in the war. As Ohio's Major Stickney and his two sons were being taken to jail, his youngest son stabbed and killed Joseph Wood.

Toledo's nickname, The Glass City, comes from its history in the glass industry. Since it's founding, Toledo has been involved in the making of windows, bottles, windshields and other glass construction materials. On January 15, 1936, The first building to ever be completely covered in glass was constructed in Toledo. This was the Owens Illinois Glass Company. The building then lead to inspire a new international style of architecture.

The Toledo Museum of Art, housed in a Greek revival building, contains over 30,000 different artistic exhibits. The Toledo Zoo is well known for being the first zoo to have a hippoquarium exhibit.

A part of Toledo known as the Old West End, is a neighborhood full of Victorian style houses. This part of town is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

The famous Jeep automobile has also been manufactured in Toledo since 1941.

There are two major universities in Toledo, the University of Toledo, and the well known Medical University of Ohio.

Toledo is the home of one of the nations oldest minor league baseball teams, the Toledo Mud Hens. They have been playing continuously since 1896. Fifth Third Field, recently constructed in 2002, is their home.

The first library was established in Toledo in 1838 by the Toledo Young Men's Association. The first tax-supported library was established in 1873, however, the building itself did not open until 1890. This original library building stood on the corner of Madison and Ontario for 50 years. In 1940, it was replaced by today's main branch library at 325 Michigan.

Toledo is located at 41°39'56" North, 83°34'31" West (41.665682, -83.575337)1. It lies on the Maumee River at the western end of Lake Erie. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 217.8 km² (84.1 mi²). 208.8 km² (80.6 mi²) of it is land and 8.9 km² (3.5 mi²) of it is water. Toledo's total area is 4.10% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 313,619 citizens. The estimated census in 2002, however, reported a decrease in population. This estimate showed that Toledo had only 309,106 citizens. Toledo is said to have 128,925 households, and 77,355 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,502.0/km² (3,890.0/mi²). There are 139,871 housing units at an average density of 669.9/km² (1,734.9/mi²). Toledo has a very diverse population. The racial makeup of the city is 70.23% White, 23.55% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.03% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. 5.47% of the population are either Hispanic or Latino.
General Population Info:
There are 128,925 households out of which 29.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% are married couples living together, 17.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% are non-families. 32.8% of all Toledo households are made up of individuals and 11.0% have someone age 65 or older living alone. The average household size is 2.38 and the average family size is 3.04.
Population Layout:
In the city the population is spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.7 males.
Toledo Income:
The median income for a household in the city is $32,546, and the median income for a family is $41,175. Males have a median income of $35,407 while the median income for females is $25,023. The per capita income for the city is $17,388. 17.9% of the population and 14.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 25.9% are under the age of 18 and 10.4%

Friday, February 10, 2006

Toledo Baby Boomer

After reading Lisa Renee's posting at Liberal Common Sense it got me to thinking. So I have decided to go back in time and share with you some of my fond memories of what is was like to be a Baby Boomer in Toledo, Ohio.

You know you are a Baby Boomer from Toledo if you remember....
-the Jesse James and Maumee Drive-in theaters instead of Super Cinemas,
-Bargain City and Ontarios instead of Walmart and Costco,
-Walk-up windows at McDonalds instead of Drive-Up windows,
-Lane Drug Store instead of Walgreen's and CSV,
-Franklin Ice Cream instead of Franklin Park Mall..errr... Westfield Shopping Center (I use to love watching the airplane shows on Sunday afternoons),
-when Blackberries were something you put in a pie not something to read your email,
-the Toledo Blades and Goldiggers instead of the Toledo Storm,
-when Toledo had 2 daily newspapers...The Times and Blade,
-riding in the backseat of the family stationwagon and facing the traffic coming up from behind,
-"It's 11:00, do you know where your children are?",
-3 full pillowcases of Halloween candy that you could eat without being x-rayed first,
-when you heard the word "GREEN" you thought of Mr. Greenjeans, not Greenday or hybrid cars,
-an Ice Cold 16oz. bottle of Coca-Cola in real glass bottles,
-when for a quarter you could get a souvineer wax lion at the Toledo Zoo and watch it being made to boot,
-that rookie Nolan Ryan card in the spokes of your bicycle,
-400 C.I.D. instead of 2.3 litre V-6,
-riding your Schwinn fastback with Banana seat and not wearing a helment and knee pads,
-the giant cheese wheel at Tidkies,
-Community Traction instead of TARTA,
-not knowing what snowdays were or ever dream of Air-Conditioning in the classroom,
-it took like 2 hrs to get to the Toledo Airport,
-Holland and Oregon were little hick towns in the country,...

I hope I have been able to help you remember!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Sports Arena...Build Downtown or on the East Side?

It appears that the City Leaders have pretty well determined that the new Sports Arena will be built in Downtown Toledo. However the County commissioners seek to take the lead

"because of so-called Section 79, which is a city referendum approved by Toledo voters on Sept. 11, 2001, that approved funding an arena in the Marina District. East Toledoans and others have said that means the city cannot use city money to
build it elsewhere."

Below is the actual referendum from the City Charter that the commissioners speak of:

Section 79. Compulsory referendum of certain measures - franchises.
No ordinance or resolution for a public improvement requiring or authorizing the expenditure of more than fifteen percent (15%) of the average gross annual current operating expenditures by the City for the five (5) fiscal years immediately preceding, or for the granting of a general public utility franchise, shall be effective until the same shall be approved by a majority vote of the electors voting thereon; provided, however, no convention center, exhibit hall, sports arena, or municipal theater, other than a sports arena located in the City's Marina District, being the area bounded by the Maumee River, Interstate Highway 280, Front Street and Main Street, shall be constructed, acquired, or leased unless the ordinance or resolution authorizing construction bidding, acquisition, or leasing shall have been approved by a majority vote of the electors voting thereon, whether or not such ordinance or resolution requires or authorizes the expenditure of more or less than fifteen percent (15%) of the average gross annual current operating expenditures by the City for the five (5) fiscal years immediately preceding. A general public utility is one in which all the people of the City may have an interest.
(Amended by electors 9-11-01)

So read correctly, This referendum does not prohibit the city from selecting a location outside the Marina District on the East Side for the new Arena. All it does is state that other than the construction of a Sports Arena in the Marina District, all expenditures which exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the average gross annual current operating expenditures by the City for the five (5) fiscal years must be approved by the majority vote of the electors voting thereon.

Therefore, if the City wants to build an Arena outside the Marina District, it is perfectly within their rights to do so but they would have to go back to the voters of Lucas County for approval because it would exceed the 15% stated.

Given only the two choices of Downtown or the East Side (has anyone thought of Southwyck?); I personally think that Downtown Toledo is the best spot for the new Arena. It is time for the aging Sports Arena to come down. We have been beating this Dead Horse for too many years now. Just build the damn thing! As it was said..."If you build it they will come". It is equally important that we do not forget about the East side and that an aggressive development plan be finalized for the Marina District.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Dodge gearing up for Nitro in Toledo

I welcome the addition of the Nitro to the Jeep production line. I had considered buying a Liberty a couple of years back but after driving a Cherokee for 10 years, I just could not get use to the "cutesy" design. The Liberty lacked the rugged appearance and praticality that I came to appreciate in the Jeep name. It was designed to attract the female buyer and looked more at home on the Asphalt Urban Trail then the Rubicon Trail. A vehicle for ex-soccer moms who needed a little more spice in their daily travel adventures then they received in their trustworthy mini vans. Evidenced by my own observations, it seems that 8 out of 10 people behind the wheel of the Liberty are of the female gender carefully applying their makeup in the vanity mirrors. With the Liberty I defiently did not get the feeling "It's a Jeep thing...You wouldn't understand".

Along comes the Nitro with it's more truck like appearance, larger cargo area and 4.0 liter V-6. All the ingredients to appeal to a more masculine audience seem to be in place. I am a little disappointed that it doesn't carry the JEEP badge and have the 8 slot grille in front but this may be a small price to pay if it gives me the same endurance and performance that I have become accustomed to in my Old Jeep Cherokee. The lack of all that Chrome up front is a plus too. The fact that it only is estimated at 18 miles to a gallon in the city and 23 on the highway with the 3.7-liter V-6, while the 4.0-liter V-6 will get 17 miles to a gallon in the city and 21 on the highway gives me pause. I was hoping for a little better mileage after getting used to near 30 mpg in my current vehicle. Twice a week fill ups at $2.30 a gallon doesn't bold well for my starving wallet.

Overall I think the Nitro will be welcome addition to the Chrysler line-up and the Toledo Jeep assembly plant. It will help our local work force in securing good paying jobs for a few more years and hopefully be the impetus for future production of Chrysler vehicles here.

News has it that a major participant in Chrysler efforts to secure 3rd party suppliers and manufacturing locate directly on their assembly grounds has pulled out. Michigan's Haden International Inc., which built and was to operate a paint shop under a ground-breaking agreement with DaimlerChrysler AG, is out effective immediately, union officials were told yesterday. (See article from the Blade). Maybe we will only be able to get the Nitro in an unpainted steel grey. If only they paint it in any other color then RED!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Carty on Westgate

Mayor Carty released his position on Westgate yesterday in a written statement to the Op-Ed section of the Blade. His position seems to be in protecting this city from Urban Blight 10-15 years down the road by evidence here:

"Most of the nation's mayors have learned the hard way that suburban retailers tend to be predatory by definition. The vast majority of big-box outlets, warehouses, and other shopping centers are built not to meet unmet demand, but to steal shoppers from existing retailers.

Thus, the owners of the mall, or shopping center, know that it will not be open for all that long,as it is being built. In other words, the lifetime of big-box stores, like Costco, is about 10 to 15 years. Then you have an abandoned warehouse and a large vacant parking lot. Travel the short distance to such sites in Toledo, and the proof of this statement is readily available."

While I am in agreement that empty Big Box stores are a blight on the city (see my Pet Peeve post) and dread the thought of more, can we afford not to have a major retailer like Costco and the 180 or so "living wage" jobs take roots in Toledo. Is the Mayor's concern really about the flight risk in 10 or so years as he indicated in the letter? Is it in his belief of the 20/20 plan(which he helped author in 2000)? Could it be that his belief in 20/20 is a clever muse to cover up his discontent with the Jack Ford Administration for trumping his vision of Westgate (as outlined in the 20/20 plan) when Ford negotiated with Liz Holland and Costco? Is Mayor Finkbeiner really just playing A Team vs. B Team politics?

According to some facts I have uncovered which were reported by the Blade back in 02/2000, despite spending $275,000 on 20/20, a group of City and University of Toledo officials (including the Mayor and then president of the Lucas County commissioners, Sandy Isenberg ) presented an alternative projection of what life might be like in northwest Ohio 25 years from now in a plan called Vision 2000 which was closely tied to 20/20 but contained potential conflicts with it as well. The result was that either plan was given little hope of succeeding.

If the mayor is really concerned about "Big Box Flight", maybe he should negotiate some type of penalty in the tune of $2.5 million assessed against Costco and the owners of Westgate ( equal to the amount of tax abatement) in the event that they pull out early in violation of any lease agreement. If that were to occur, the city could then use the settlement for luring other retailers into the city to fill the void left behind.

If it is determine that the current plan (as it stands) is in violation of the 20/20 plan by rule of law, then it is the Strong Mayors responsibility and obligation granted to him when he took the oath of office, to see that the plan is amended to resolve any conflicts. It is not the mayors responsibility or even in his forte to design a new architectural schema to fit his own personal taste. Leave that up to the professionals.

If the mayor [by his actions] feels slighted and is projecting a personal vendetta against the Ford administration and in the end wishes to receive full credit for a revitalized Westgate, SHAME ON HIM! He was elected to serve in the interest of his constituents, not his own personal ego trip.

Your thoughts......